Posts Tagged ‘Crime’

Trump Throws Junior Under the Bus

August 9, 2018

Trump Throws Junior Under the Bus

Too impatient to read all the way through the story of Issac in Mike Pence’s Bible, President Donald Trump sacrificed eldest son Donald Trump Jr. to the Mueller investigation last Sunday.

That’s right. The president threw his firstborn under the bus, but claims he himself is innocent. Daddy Trump is implicating his own son in a conspiracy violation of federal election law, and also making false statements to Congress about Russian campaign involvement. No wonder President Trump’s allies have urged him to stop tweeting about the 2016 Trump Tower meeting.

More:

“President Admits Trump Tower Meeting Was Meant to Get Dirt on Clinton,” Michael D. Shear and Michael S. Schmidt, New York Times

“Trump acknowledges, defends 2016 meeting between son, Kremlin-aligned lawyer,” Ashley Parker and Rosalind S. Helderman, Washington Post

“Donald Trump throws his eldest son under the bus: And yes, this ‘collusion’ could be criminal,” Bob Cesca, Salon

“Thrown Under the Legal Bus’: Lawyer Says Trump May Have Just Implicated His Son in a Series of Crimes,” Cody Fenwick, AlterNet

“Why Would Trump Throw Don Jr. Under The Legal Bus?” Elie Mystal, Above The Law

“Donald Trump Jr.’s Potential Legal Troubles, Explained,” Charlie Savage, New York Times

“The Double Damage of the President’s Trump Tower Admission,” David A. Graham, The Atlantic

“The Day Trump Told Us There Was Attempted Collusion with Russia,” Adam Davidson, The New Yorker

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Manafort Trial Begins

July 31, 2018
Manafort Trial Begins

Paul Manafort’s new LinkedIn photo.

The first federal trial of former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort begins today. This is his trial for money laundering, bank fraud, and related charges resulting from Mr. Manafort’s unregistered lobbying and consulting for Russia-backed candidate Viktor Yanukovych in Ukraine’s 2010 presidential election.

In this trial, with one exception, we don’t expect to hear any references to the defendant’s role in Donald Trump’s 2016 election campaign, or his presence at the now-infamous Trump Tower meeting with Russian operatives, but there are certain to be juicy details about the lavish lifestyle funded by Paul Manafort’s questionable gains.

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American Ritual

June 21, 2018

“A Unique American Ritual: The School Shooting,” a short video from the New York Times.

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Paul Manafort Is In the Gray Bar Hotel

June 15, 2018

Paul Manafort Is In the Gray Bar Hotel
Paul Manafort’s new LinkedIn photo.

Paul Manafort has homes in Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Hamptons, Florida, and Virginia, but he’ll spend the summer in federal jail. His bail was revoked after he was caught tampering with witnesses in one of his two federal trials, resulting in new charges of Obstruction of Justice and Conspiracy. He’s due in federal court in Virginia on July 25th. His second trial in DC is slated for September 17th.

More:

“Paul Manafort is in the klink. It’s OK to be pleased,” Virginia Heffernan, Los Angeles Times

“Judge Orders Paul Manafort Jailed Before Trial, Citing New Obstruction Charges,” Sharon LaFraniere, New York Times

“From ‘the Count’ to inmate: The fall of former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort,” Tom Hamburger, Washington Post

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Mexico’s Murderers: ¡Gracias, NRA!

May 29, 2018

Mexico's Murderers: ¡Gracias, NRA!

There’s only one gun store in all of Mexico, and it’s on an army base. But the southern border region of the US bristles with gun shops.

“… like so many aspects of life in Mexico, the influence of its powerful neighbor to the north is keenly felt: Each day the army gun store sells on average just 38 firearms to civilians, while an estimated 580 weapons are smuggled into Mexico from the United States.

That paradox is increasingly relevant given Mexico’s unprecedented levels of gun violence, which have claimed more than 100,000 lives over the last decade. Last year was Mexico’s deadliest since the government began releasing homicide statistics in 1997. This year, it is on track to surpass that record.”

— “There is only one gun store in all of Mexico. So why is gun violence soaring?” Kate Linthicum, Los Angeles Times

What can be done? For a start, the U.S. can finally ratify the The Inter-American Convention Against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Ammunition, Explosives, and Other Related Materials (CIFTA)The National Rifle Association has thrown money around and stalled this for a dozen years, at the cost of thousands of lives.

You think life is cheap in Mexico? So are congressmen here in the USA — you can buy them for the cost of a few assault rifles.

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Supreme Court to Rod Blagojevich: Stay In the Slammer

April 18, 2018

Supreme Court to Rod Blagojevich: Stay In the Slammer

The U.S. Supreme Court has rejected an appeal from former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, the incarcerated Chicago Democrat who tried to sell Barack Obama’s vacant senate seat after the 2004 election. “Blago,” a devoted Elvis fan, is probably all shook up. He’s serving a 14-year sentence, and won’t be sprung until May 2024.

More:

“U.S. Supreme Court again rejects hearing Rod Blagojevich’s appeal,” Jason Meisner, Chicago Tribune

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Client Number Three

April 18, 2018

Client Number Three

After the FBI seized documents from his office, home, and hotel room, Trump fixer Michael Cohen is on trial in New York for as-yet unspecified federal crimes, most likely bank fraud and campaign law violations relating to his hush money payoffs to women on behalf of his adulterous clients Donald Trump and Elliott Broidy. Mr. Cohen isn’t much of a lawyer, but he’s had one more client, whose identity he tried to withholdJudge Kimba Wood wasn’t having it, and “client number three” turned out to be Sean Hannity, the vociferous defender of Donald Trump and Michael Cohen on Fox News. Hilarity ensued.

More:

“Yes, Sean Hannity was a legal client of Michael Cohen’s,” Philip Bump, Washington Post

“No Disclosure? No Problem. Sean Hannity Gets a Pass at Fox News.” Michael M. Grynbaum and John Koblin, New York Times

“Sean Hannity’s idea of ‘attorney-client privilege’ was right out of ‘Breaking Bad,’”  Kyle Swenson, Washington Post

“Sean Hannity’s Ties to Two More Trump-Connected Lawyers,” Rosie Gray, The Atlantic

“Michael Cohen and the Busting of the Trump Crime Family,” Jonathan Chait, New York Magazine

“Trump Should Be Worried by Cohen Probe. Really Worried.” Noah Feldman,  Bloomberg View

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Michael Cohen Goes to Court Today

April 16, 2018

Michael Cohen, personal lawyer of Donald Trump, will be in U.S. District Court in New York this afternoon, trying to exclude thousands of documents seized by the FBI from the federal case against him. Mr. Cohen has been charged by Deputy U.S. Attorney Robert Khuzami, not (as in the SNL skit above) Robert Mueller. Since Mr. Cohen has only one client, Donald Trump, the case against Michael Cohen is more of a present threat to Mr. Trump than the Mueller investigation. And since Michael Cohen serves Donald Trump in the capacity of bagman and fixer, not as a lawyer, attorney-client privilege does not apply. In any case, a lawyer abetting a client in criminal acts cannot hide behind privilege.

More:

“Trump advisers see Cohen probe as greater threat to Trump than Mueller: report,” Max Greenwood, The Hill

“What Exactly Was Michael Cohen Doing for Donald Trump?” David A. Graham, The Atlantic

“Trump Wants to Review Seized Michael Cohen Materials Before Federal Prosecutors,” Margaret Hartmann, New York Magazine

“Michael Cohen and the End Stage of the Trump Presidency,” Adam Davidson, The New Yorker

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Guilty: Kellyanne Conway Violated the Hatch Act

March 16, 2018

Guilty: Kellyanne Conway Violated the Hatch Act

The federal U.S. Office of Special Counsel (OSC) recently ruled that Presidential Counselor Kellyanne Conway violated the Hatch Act twice, both times while appearing on television in her official capacity.

“In the first interview, Conway advocated against one Senate candidate and gave an implied endorsement of another candidate. In the second interview, she advocated for the defeat of one Senate candidate and the election of another candidate. Both instances constituted prohibited political activity under the Hatch Act and occurred after Conway received significant training on Hatch Act prohibitions ….” — OSC

That “significant training” was mandated after an earlier televised ethical breach, when Ms. Conway shilled for Ivanka Trump products during an interview on Fox News.

Special Counsel Henry Kerner sent his office’s findings to President Donald Trump “for appropriate disciplinary action.” As a presidential appointee, it is up to the president to decide on Ms. Conway’s punishment, so naturally she received a firm executive shrug. A career federal employee would be terminated for this. “The White House cannot continue to have one standard for the federal workforce generally and a lower standard for appointees who are close to this President,” observed Walter Shaub, former Director of the Office of Government Ethics.

More:

“Kellyanne Conway found to have violated Hatch Act,” John Bowden, The Hill

“Kellyanne Conway broke the law. The White House shrugs.” Washington Post editorial

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Soccer Trial In Brooklyn: Guilty

December 23, 2017

Soccer Trial In Brooklyn: Guilty

Two former officials of the South American soccer association were found guilty in U.S. Federal Court on Friday of accepting millions of dollars in bribes. The jury will deliberate on a third defendant next week. 24 other people tied to FIFA, the governing body of international soccer, have pleaded guilty, and 15 more charged in the racketeering  and money-laundering probe are fighting extradition to the U.S.

More:

“2 Top Soccer Officials Found Guilty in FIFA Case,” Rebecca R. Ruiz, New York Times

“Fifa trial: two ex-soccer officials found guilty on multiple charges of corruption,” Oliver Laughland, The Guardian

Update:

“Fifa trial: ex-president of Peru soccer acquitted of corruption charge,” AP via The Guardian

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